Tuesday, May 23, 2017

April 2017 Newsletter


Food for Thought:

Morning Breaks

Morning breaks with a crispness of spring in the air...
A light breeze whispers gently to attend my every care.
Abundance of sunshine warms my face, my heart, my soul...
Knowing Spirit's Hand and Guidance is fully in control.
Looking out, I see Mother Earth unfolding a day of beauty fair...
A glimpse of things to come, blessings fo
r me to share.
My thoughts turn to family and friends, what their day will unfold...
I ask Spirit's Hand to Guide them, as each one He will Hold.
Whisper gently to their cares, Warm them deep within...
Fill their day with Nature's Beauty, as Morning Breaks again.



1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 medium green bell pepper, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound ground beef
1/4 cup stuffed pimento olives, chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Crushed red pepper flakes
1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce

In a large skillet over medium heat, saute onions, garlic, and pepper in olive oil until softened, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add ground beef and olives and continue stirring to break up and brown the meat. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. When beef has browned, add tomato sauce gradually while stirring. Cook 1 to 2 minutes longer to incorporate sauce.

Zatarain's Yellow Rice, prepared according to directions.

Black Beans w/Piloncillo and Cumin

1 lb uncooked black beans
6 cups chicken or vegetable stock (low salt)
2 yellow onions, peeled and diced
3- 1-oz piloncillo cones (Or 4 oz of brown sugar mixed with 2 oz molasses)
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon chile powder
1 small serrano or jalapeno chile seeded and diced
Rinse beans and discard any debris. Place beans in the bottom of the pot and cover with the stock. Bring beans to a boil, then reduce to a slow simmer and cover. Simmer on the lowest heat possible for about 3 hours.

Add additional water if stock simmers away too much. Add in additional ingredients and simmer for another hour, or until beans are soft and the liquid has simmered away. If there is still too much liquid, turn beans up to a slow boil until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Serve picadillo...
beans over bed of yellow rice (topped with a dollop of sour cream, shredded cheddar and diced green onions) ...
a piece of crusty bread and you have a very filling and tasty meal!!!

ETA: I serve the picadillo to the side of the beans over the rice!!!

Sarge's Brown Rice

I'm sure many of you have visited Sarge's Restaurant/Steak House in Frank Ewing, TN.
My first trip was in the early 90's and I have been making this side dish since that time.

My version of Sarge's Brown rice:
2 cups beef broth
1 Tbsp. Dale's seasoning
1 tsp. Kitchen bouquet
2 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
Whisk together.

Saute 1 bunch green onions, chopped in 2 Tbsp. butter.
Add: sauce
4 cups cooked white rice
Heat until heated through and sauce has thickened.

The recipe is from an Amish restaurant that sadly went out of business.  DH fiddles with the ingredients but it is always good no matter how he varies it  

from an online friend


1 can of clams (he uses 3 small or the big one from SAM's when we can find them)
2 cups potatoes (he uses red ones with skin left on
1/2 cup celery
1/2 cup carrots, shredded
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup real butter
1 Tlbs. chicken base or bouillon cube equivalent
1 tsp. salt (he uses some celery salt and seasoned salt)
1 tsp. pepper, freshly ground
1 12 oz. can chicken broth (he makes his own usually)
1 12 oz. can evaporated milk (he uses half&half sometimes)
4 cups of milk (or enough for desired thickness)


Cook potatoes and celery in the clam juice til almost soft.  
Add clams and carrots; cook for 5 minutes.
Saute onions in butter.
Stir in flour.
Combine with clams and veggies.
Add chicken base, salt, pepper and chicken broth.
Add canned milk or cream and milk.
Heat til very hot but not boiling.

Sometimes he throws in some white or blush wine if it's too thick...  it's a good basic recipe to play around with 

Enjoy !!! 
Creamy One Pot Chicken & Pasta
Adapted from an online recipe that I had seen previously. 

2 Tbsp. Butter
1 lb. b/s Chicken breast, cubed
1 Tbsp. EVOO
2 cloves minced garlic
8 oz. sliced Baby Bella's mushrooms
1/3 cup sun dried tomatoes, chopped
1 Tbsp. Flour
1-1/2 cups chicken stock
1-1/4 cups half & half
1 tsp. Kosher salt
1/2 tsp. Fresh ground pepper
1/4-1/2 tsp. Crushed red pepper flakes 
1 Tbsp. Flour
6 oz. linguine, broken in half
3 cups spinach
1/3 cup Pecorino Romano, divided

Over med to medium high heat...

In large sauté pan, melt butter...add chicken and sauté until golden and no longer pink. 
Add EVOO, garlic, mushrooms & sun dried tomatoes. Sauté 3-5 minutes. Add flour, cook an additional minute. 
Slowly add broth, half & half...stir to combine thoroughly. 
Add linguine, stir to separate. 
Cover & reduce heat. Cook 15 minutes or until pasta is cooked through.
Remove from heat, stir in spinach & 1/4 cup of grated cheese. 
Serve immediately & garnish with remaining cheese. 

 Apple Dumplin's
adapted by Paula George
These remind me of the ones served by Wendy's YEARS ago!
2 to 2 1/2   cup plain flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup shortening
1/2 cup milk
6 Granny Smith or other cooking apples, cored, peeled
sugar, approximately 1/2 cup, for sprinkling apples
butter, cut in small pieces.
Syrup:2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 cups hot water
1/4 cup margarine melted
heavy cream or ice cream, optional
PREPARATION:Combine flour, baking powder and salt; cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse meal. Gradually add milk, stirring to make a soft dough. Roll dough into a 1/8" thick rectangle on a lightly floured surface; cut into 8-inch squares. Place 1 cored, peeled apple on each square. Sprinkle each with 2 teaspoons sugar and a sprinkling of cinnamon and nutmeg to taste;dot with butter. Moisten edges of each dumpling with water; bring corners to center, pinching edges to seal. Place dumplings 1 inch apart in a lightly greased shallow baking dish. Combine 2 cups sugar, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg,2 cups hot water and 1/4 cup butter or margarine; stir to dissolve sugar. Pour syrup over dumplings.Bake at 375° for 35 to 45 minutes, or until golden brown.Serve hot with cream or ice cream. Makes about 1/2 dozen apple dumplings.
p.s. I bake mine in a cast iron skillet


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